These are the companies that South Africans really want to work for

Employer branding agency Universum Global has published a ranking of the most sought-after employers in South Africa, based on its comprehensive and independent career-related survey.

In the 2021 survey, 24,053 professionals, or ‘experienced hires’ were tasked with identifying the local companies they were most eager to work for. This was up from 20,504 respondents in 2020. The survey includes 48 industries over 50 different occupational groups.

“The survey is revealing, not only for uncovering the most attractive employers, but also for unpacking key market insights about the ever-changing employment landscape in the country,” Universum said.

It said there has been a change in where experienced hires are diverting their attention, with business/commerce now leading the pack in terms of employer choices.

“Interest in searching for a career in education, however, has reduced, as has health/medicine. This reveals that the industries demonstrating growth are the ones experienced hires feel would fulfil their current career trajectories,” it said.

Satisfaction among employees was found to be highest in the technology/computer software space.

“As the industries are analysed more deeply, specific industries emerge as forerunners in the satisfaction stakes. This is likely to encourage staff to be promoters of the brands in question. The frontrunner is still computer software, with e-commerce growing in the wake of the pandemic in terms of recommendations,” the group said.

Other interesting findings from the survey include the use of social media networks like LinkedIn being the primary online source of information for companies – although employer career websites and corporate websites are still relevant in finding the most up-to-date information.

“WhatsApp ranks highly for information sharing and it emerged that it is considered important to keep hires’ online presence up-to-date and engaging thus having this medium to communicate effectively and quickly,” Universum said.

The most in-demand companies

62% of the respondents said they would prefer to work for an organisation founded in South Africa. The tables below identify the top 10 companies professionals most want to work for in South Africa, broken down by sector.


# Company
1 South African Reserve Bank
2 Transnet
3 Google
4 Investec
6 Unilever
7 AB InBev
8 Discovery
9 Coca Cola South Africa
10 National Treasury


# Company
1 Transnet
2 Google
3 Sasol
4 Eskom
5 Microsoft
6 AngloAmerican
7 BMW Group
8 SpaceX
9 Tesla
10 City of Johannesburg

Healthcare/Health Sciences

# Company
1 Department of Health
2 Medi-Clinic Southern Africa
3 Netcare
4 Discovery
5 Johnson & Johnson
6 National Health Laboratory Service
7 Pfizer Laboratories
8 Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology
9 South African National Blood Service
10 Aspen Pharmacare

Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education

# Company
1 Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology
2 United Nations
3 Google
4 Department of International Relations and Cooperation
5 City of Johannesburg
6 Department of Home Affairs
7 Transnet
8 City of Cape Town
9 Media24
10 Discovery


# Company
1 National Prosecuting Authority
2 United Nations
3 Office of the Chief Justice
4 Legal Aid South Africa
5 Department of Justice and Correctional Services
6 Constitutional Court
7 The South African Human Rights Commission
8 Lawyers for Human Rights
9 Investec
10 South African Reserve Bank


# Company
1 Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
2 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
3 Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
4 Unilever
5 The Agricultural Research Council
6 Rand Water
7 Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology
8 Coca-Cola South Africa
9 AB InBev
10 Sasol

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These are the companies that South Africans really want to work for